The MPs expenses scandal is still with us. George Osborne is a Chelsea fan (who else?). He just happens to have a meeting arranged with German official that lets him be in Munich to see Chelsea win the Champions League and witness John Terry's thuggish racist little hands hoist the trophy. That way Osborne had the trip paid for by the taxpayer instead of out of his inherited millions.
He also flogged his second home that we paid for and made a personal profit of £450,000. Items on expenses must be 'wholly, necessarily and exclusively' used in the job. Why is it 'necessary' to have a house worth a million pounds? With a fucking paddock for horses?
If the Tories really want to end the 'something for nothing culture' then let's have a 100% Inheritance Tax and administer it retroactively so it removes the fortunes that Osborne, Cameron, and Iain Duncan Smith are living off.
They aggressively portray benefit claimants as scroungers who get that 'something for nothing' at the expense of 'hard working families'. Iain Duncan Smith said that benefits have risen faster than private sector wages. Well yes, they have as long as you do some nimble footwork and only start measuring wages from where they slump in the credit crunch and recession.
But more to the point, it's not about competing with private sector wages. It's about ensuring that nobody goes hungry, cold or homeless. With food prices rising faster than either benefits or wages, and fuel costs rising faster still, the level of benefits has effectively plummeted. Families are choosing between food and warmth. People are, entirely predictably, being made homeless.
The millionaire government and the millionaire-owned media have flooded us with stories of the feckless poor. And it has worked. A YouGov poll found this week that on average people think that 41 per cent of the entire welfare
budget goes on benefits to unemployed people, while the true figure is 3
per cent. They also found that, on average, people think that 27 per cent of the welfare budget is
claimed fraudulently, while the government's own figure is 0.7 per cent.
Of the people polled, those with the least accurate picture of what the benefit regime is actually like were the ones with the most anti-claimant view.
The fact is that the jobless outnumber vacancies by more than 5:1. There are over two million people for whom there is no job. The demonisation of the jobless is a problem in itself. But having successfully done that, the government then turns on the same 'hard working families' with swingeing cuts to Housing Benefit (where 93% of new claimants are in work) and Tax Credits (100% in work). That time Iain Duncan Smith didn't even cherry pick his figures, he simply made them up.
The pared down Housing Benefit comes into effect in April on the same day that there's a tax cut for those earning over £150,000 a year. We can't afford housing for the poor and disabled they say, whilst ruling out a Mansion Tax. The Daily Mail hailed that as helping 'hard-pressed middle-class families'.
Owning a property worth over £2,000,000? What the fuck is that the 'middle' of? The Tory front bench?
THERE IS ANOTHER WAY
In Scotland, they consistently vote against the Tories. As the UK suffers an accelerating runaway Tory train of devastation, forcing people into poverty and on to the streets, in Scotland they've extended the rights of homeless people to be housed.
Whilst the Tories strip the NHS, in Scotland - like Wales and Northern Ireland - they extend it with free prescriptions for all.
As the Tories hand out UK public services to corrupt profiteers and slash workers rights, in Scotland there's a law on the table to ban construction firms from getting public contracts if they've been involved in blacklisting workers (a widespread illegal practice to keep unions out).
As the increasing spectre of student debt forces young people from poorer families to opt out of university, in Scotland they have reinstated free higher education. Labour have criticised the move as 'regressive'. Mind you, Labour's response to attacks on the unemployed is to propose their own punitive regime. That's unsurprising given that the comprehensively derided workfare scheme was actually designed by the last Labour government.
Whilst the Tories resurrect zombie road schemes triggering a new rash of 90s-style road protests, and start a new generation of fossil burning that will shatter our carbon reduction targets, the Scots generate 35% of their electricity renewably, well ahead of their target to get them to the equivalent of 100% renewable by 2020.
Come independence, I think I'll be seeking political asylum there.